Kristy Murray urges preventative action in the United States against Chikungunya, a dangerous virus spread by mosquitoes which has already reached the Caribbean.
It’s best to start learning how to pronounce the word “Chikungunya” (chik-en-gūn-ya): this crippling virus that is spread by mosquitoes could soon be making landfall to a city near you.Chikungunya virus can cause a very severe disease in people, with fevers, headaches, and painfully debilitating joint pain that can last for months to years. The word “chikungunya” is African (Makonde) in origin and translates to “that which bends up.” People infected with this virus are literally bent up from the extreme joint pain they experience. The virus is spread from person to person through Aedes species mosquitoes - very aggressive day feeders that are widespread throughout the Americas.
This virus was originally identified in Africa more than 50 years ago. During the first decade of the millennium, the virus began to spread rapidly to India, islands throughout the Indian Ocean, and other parts of Asia. In 2007, it took only one infected person to travel from India to Italy to create a major outbreak, sickening more than 200 people.